We’re always on the lookout for great learning materials at MakeUseOf, whether it’s a full online course offered by Coursera or YouTube channels like ASAPScience and podcasts like Stuff You Should Know – there’s no age limits or exclusivity.
But so many of us go about our daily lives without understanding the things taking place around us because we’re not scientists, and we have day jobs. PhD TV is a YouTube channel aimed at delivering short, sharp bursts of scientific wisdom, complete with webcomic Piled Higher and Deeper‘s signature comic style.
How Coffee Affects Your Brain
Coffee is the most popular stimulant in the world, and it gets millions of human beings started every day. Many people imagine their days without it, and it has rich history of use all over the world – but what does it do to your brain?
This short explanation should cover everything you need to know about the way your caffeine fix affects your brain. Yes – you can get addicted – but according to scientists it’s not a particularly bad addiction to have (try telling that to someone who hasn’t had their morning cup).
What is Aging?
It might sound like a silly question, but from a scientific standpoint we still know relatively little about the ageing process, what affects it and what is happening on a cellular level. Beyond simply getting old, ageing can be defined by its characteristics, such as the body’s inability to repair itself.
But there are many different hypotheses surrounding the question as to why we age. Understanding that question may provide the answers to vastly increased lifespans, one day.
Quantum Computers Animated
The term “quantum computing” often appears in the same light as “rocket science” or “nuclear physicist”, in that it is intrinsically believed to be a very complex topic. Watch then, as theoretical physicists John Preskill and Spiros Michalakis explain the differences between standard digital computers and quantum computers.
The animations help viewers visualise the concepts being discussed, and for that I’m grateful. If anything, this animation highlights just how advanced and bewildering quantum computing really is, even if you’re well-versed in current technology.
One of the most exciting astronomical discoveries of my lifetime was the discovery of exoplanets – planets like our own that orbit stars outside of our solar system. To date more than 1000 exoplanets have been discovered, though finding them wasn’t easy as the video above explains.
It is theorised that some of these exoplanets may exist within what scientists have coined the habitable zone, containing conditions that could support life such as that found on Earth.
Your Brain By The Numbers
The human brain is an astounding bit of kit. For example, you have more synapses (a cool 10 trillion) in your brain than you do cells in your entire body, and they’re an important part of a system that performs 1015 calculations every second.
We’re still not able to build anything that comes close to it, and the numbers speak for themselves as to why. Prepare to be astounded by the complexity of the grey matter in your head.
Should You Get Vaccinated?
You’ve probably heard about the link between vaccinations and autism, and how the original scientific paper that suggested the link has since been withdrawn. Did you know even the disgraced scientist responsible has been struck off the medical register and banned from practicing ever again?
The actions of the scandal-happy media have turned one scientist’s disingenuous research into a generation of unvaccinated kids. Should you get vaccinated? Yes.
That’s not all! There’s plenty more PhD TV, tackling all manner of scientific and exploratory subjects. Listening to experts explain their fields in detail while watching the animations provides your brain with a visual way to process the somewhat complex topics covered.
Did you enjoy this week’s stuff to watch? Seen anything worth watching recently? Add your thoughts below!
Image credit: Spark of Inspiration (notnixon)